Flying First Class for the First Time

When I printed my boarding pass after checking in online, I was surprised to see the my seat number labeled “Check at Gate.” I didn’t think much of it, and the next day I worked my way through DFW to Gate E30. As boarding began and I realized everyone else knew their seat assignment, I went to the gate desk to ask for help. The man behind the counter looked at my boarding pass, said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you,” and told me to sit down for the next few minutes. The minutes passed, and everyone had boarded the plane but me.

The desk guy butchered my name as he called me to the desk, handed me a new boarding pass, and said, “Enjoy first class.” I checked the slip of paper. Seat 2D. FIRST CLASS?? Hyperventilating with the sort of excitement that fears a cruel joke is just around the corner, I walked onto the plane. Sure enough, two seats from the very front of the aircraft was an empty seat. My seat.  Continue reading

How to Cope with Anxiety in an Airport

Sometime around 36 hours before my trip began, anxiety hit.  Before then, when people asked if I was nervous about going to Athens, I could genuinely chuckle and say, “Nah.  I’ve been there before.  I know what I’m doing.  It’s going to be intense but fun!”  I don’t know what changed, but 36 hours ago, all my unacknowledged anxiety came rushing into consciousness.

This is it.  This is the beginning of the next step in my life.  I’m going to visit the city that will soon be my home.  I’m going to hang out with the people who will soon be my coworkers and (hopefully) friends.  What if I hate the city?  What if everyone I meet hates me?  What if I’ve made a terrible decision, but I can’t take it back because then I’d look ridiculous?  What if I do back out but it’s a choice made out of fear and I miss out on an amazing opportunity?  What if everything goes wrong and I trip on my face five times and no one speaks English and I sit alone in a corner the whole time?

Clearly action needed to be taken.  Here are some tips (I may or may not have done) to cope with anxiety while in an airport:  Continue reading